Along a number of different routes through the Canadian Arctic, guests will have the chance to visit L'Anse aux Meadows, a sleepy fishing village that holds secrets to a Viking past. In the 1960s, the Norwegians Anne Stine and Helge Ingstad, together with their daughter, Benedicte, made the discovery of an ancient Viking settlement on this land. Perched on the northernmost tip of Newfoundland, it was declared a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1978 and dates back to about the year 1000 C.E.
“Guests have a chance to follow in the footsteps of the first Viking explorers."
This site has been linked with Vinland the attempted settlement of North America by pioneer explorer Leif Erikson. Benedicte Ingstad is now a 72 year old professor of medical anthropology who has spent her life devoted to research, and joins guests on some of the Hurtigruten voyages to Canada, to recount her family's discovery of the site.
Hurtigruten expedition voyages emphasise activities, adventure and gaining insight into the wilderness around us. The Canadian Arctic voyages are no exception. From the 'floating classroom' guests will have the chance to learn about the fascinating Viking history, the Indigenous people of Canada, zoology, botany and environmental science. Plus Hurtigruten ships are perfectly equipped for adventure with lecture halls, a photographic and optics centre and are an optimal size for manoeuvring up close to the shore and all the action.
Canada is an exciting area to explore with a combination of beautiful nature and fascinating history. On some Canadian routes, guests get close to the Torngat Mountains national park, an Inuit homeland. The park is 9700 square kilometres and of great spiritual significance to the Inuit people – a place where they have lived, hunted and harvested for thousands of years. From onboard the ship, guests can admire sloping glaciers and keep a look out for polar bears and North American caribou.
Another UNESCO World Heritage site, the fishing village of Red Bay is on the itinerary. Guests can wander among picturesque streets and learn about the history of the Basque whaling operation that took place on the nearby Saddle Island.
Also along some Canadian routes are Saint-Pierre and Miquelon, small towns that preserve the strong French influence over parts of Canada in fashion, food, fine wine and delicious cheese. Nearby is Gros Morn, a national park of soaring mountains that are geologically unique. At The Tablelands, a plateau 600m above the sea level, guests are invited to hike on ancient stone that was pushed up from the Earth's core after a collision of tectonic plates millions of years ago.
Follow the trail of Vikings further with exploration of Iceland and Greenland. From Reykjavik in Iceland, guests can see the bird cliffs where Vikings would hunt. Take in the best of Iceland at sea, visiting archipelagos and the famous volcanic island of Surtsey.
Some routes may also visit the southern tip of Greenland, where the Norse Chieftan Eirik Raude is said to have lived or even the stunning Ilulissat glacier on the Western Coast.